clipped from
TAX TIME: Just in time for April 15, the folks at the
Institute for Policy Studies have released a report that
documents the stunning generation-long reversal of progressive tax
policies and offers seven concrete proposals for restoring basic
fairness to the IRS’s methods–and hundreds of billions in lost revenue
to the Treasury. Their report, Tax Day 2009, notes that America’s
most affluent 1 percent–taxpayers who averaged $1.3 million in income
in 2006–saw a federal income tax rate of 22.8 percent. In 1986 that
same cohort averaged $507,520 in inflation-adjusted income and paid 33.1
percent of it in taxes. Over the past twenty years, this elite 1 per-
cent saw their share of the nation’s income double, from 11.3 percent to
22.1 percent, but their tax burden shrank by about one-third.
A fascinating article in The Nation about how the wealthy elite in the US have been getting richer while reducing their taxation over the last 20 years. The top 1 percent of Americans earn 22.1 percent of the nation’s income. 22 PERCENT!!!! Over a fifth of the incomes is earned by 1 percent of the people. Why aren’t people taking to the streets and rioting? My guess – because the media has turned them into pacified sheep. We’ve been taught not to cause trouble, not to try to change things outside of voting inside of a corrupt system controlled by the wealthy elite.BTW, I heard this quote in a terrific recent podcast by Bill Moyers where he interviews David Simon, creator of THE WIRE, probably the smartest television drama ever produced. It’s a commentary on the state of ‘the system’ in America (and we’re not that different). You should listen to this show:

And, of course, if you haven’t seen The Wire, make it a priority. It’s truly brilliant, insightful drama.